my stories · writing

Pencils

It’s probably not of any value, but since I mention it in my story, and since it’s something I would have never considered before writing part two of The Baker’s Wife, I would like to say that pencils were known in late Renaissance times. For those who knew this, I’m sorry to talk about it. I didn’t know any of this. I thought they only used quill pens. Now, I know.

I’m just going to hit the highlights, then provide links at the end for further information.

  • Before pencils, people would use sticks of lead, sometimes for writing, mostly for drawing. They were the original stylus.
  • In the 1500’s, graphite was discovered. It produced a much darker line and became popular. However, graphite was softer than lead and had to be held in a container. Good graphite was also rare; nobody had found a way to purify it yet.
  • Wood was the most popular graphite container.
  • In the 1700’s, science found a way to purify graphite, making it easier to produce more pencils.

There’s a lot more fascinating trivia than that, but I’m running out of time. Here are the links, as promised.

http://www.berol.co.uk/historyofpencils.html

http://www.pencils.com/blog/pencil-history/ (Includes a pic of the “oldest known wood case pencil”, which is what I see in my head when I write about the one Zhiv uses. For those who are curious.)

http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blpen.htm

As for part two, it should be published on Kindle by the end of the week. I figured out a way to streamline formatting and boy did it shave some time off. Very happy. I’ll announce it here as soon as I know it’s available.

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